What do all four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation have in common with President Joe Biden and actor Morgan Freeman?
They’re among the nearly 1,000 Americans who have been permanently banned from entering Russia as a response to sanctions imposed by the United States since Russia invaded Ukraine.
US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and US Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline joined President Joe Biden, most members of Congress, several journalists, and even a couple of Hollywood types on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s list of 963 individuals who are now barred from entering Russia.
”In the context of responding to the constantly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and in connection with incoming requests about the personal composition of our national ‘stop list,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a press release.
Whitehouse is the only member of Rhode Island’s delegation who has responded so far, tweeting on Sunday, “Oh, dear. I’ve been sanctioned by a mass-murdering kleptocrat.”
Interestingly, while several members of Biden’s administration were included on Russia’s banned list, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island’s former governor, was not named.
During a lecture at Brown University in March, Raimondo said the US has taken a measured approach with its own sanctions against Russia, focusing on ways to hobble the country’s military without directly punishing innocent civilians by prohibiting the sale of all goods to the country.
This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.